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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking seriously at the 15’ Wave Destroyer. The only thing that bums me out a little is the 22” tube diameter. I can see it on the smaller boats but on the 14 and 15 foot boats it seems small to me. If they were larger, say 23 or even 24 inches on the 15, I would be able to get away with one boat. It seems to me that it would still be just as white-water capable, but it would be able to handle multi days better. And it would create just a little more clearance under the frame.

Here’s the problem….I don’t know diddly. It seems like a good idea to me, but what do I know? Would a 23 or 24” tube indeed be just as white-water capable? Would the increase in height make it too top heavy? I like Aires stuff, and they have engineers that are smart and went to college and stuff, so I don’t presume to know better, but I am a thinker. I know that I won't ever sway Aire, but I just thought I would put this discussion out there to a lot of people who know the sport and have much more experience with such things. Just a discussion. Thanks for your input.
 

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22" tubes vs...

Ahh just buy a Saturn... No just kidding please don't start buzzards... If you want a boat that will do week long multi day trips then a 15' with 22" tubes probably isn't the best choice. I've got a 16' Aire Jaguarundi with 24" tubes and it does ok on multi day trips but any less payload and I'd be bummed. It also rocks class 4 & 5 when run empty as a day boat. So if you want a multi purpose boat go Jag and if you just want a whitewater machine then go Wave Destroyer. I'm selling my Jag ($1,600) because I don't use it for multi day trips anymore and just want an after work gnar boat.
 

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no tengo
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well, you could get a Jaguarundi which is 16' and 24" diameter. what are the primary rivers you run?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I want to be careful not to turn this into a "what boat should I buy" thread. I like the jag as well but lets pretend the Destroyer is the only option.

What I wanted to accomplish in this thread is for me to gain a better understanding of design features. If I worked for the Aire development team and I made a 15' WD with 24" tubes, would it perform better or worse in serious white water? OR would I already understand that the 22" tubes are adventageous over larger tubes? Just brain storming.
 

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Why wont a wd15 work as a multiday rig?? How much crap do you want to bring on the river? The damn thing has a 900 lbs payload. I could self support the big ditch for 20 days with 500 lbs of gear - just a thought. And 2 more inches of tube is going to buy you 2 inches of clearance at best. Its not like you are going to be shooting for 12" rocks poking out of the river. I'd rather have the 2" lower center of gravity when taking on the big water and less tube weight. But that's just me.
 

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El Chupanibre
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I got my first upclose look at a wave destroyer. It is a pretty damn serious ww craft. The design looks rock solid. Unless you are hauling tons of gear, tube size would not be big deal. I'd love to get my hands on a Wave Destroyer.
Guy with 27" tubes.


Sent from my iPad using Mountain Buzz
 

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I could be wrong on this but I believe a shorter boat with big tubes if not weighted down will have more of a tendency to get surfed.. you are just to buoyant.. have a big cat and would also like a smaller cat... the sotar cats you can get the larger diameter in a similar shaped cat as the wave destroyers... I think I would lean towards that just for a little extra carying capacity... I am seldom by myself but dont always need the 16' lion..
 

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It's hard to find one boat that will do it all, mainly because it can't really be done. I mean it can be done, just not very well. My ocelot will sort of do it all, but it will not run big water quite as well as a WD, and it will not carry a load nearly as well as a jag or a lion. The guy who designed the ocelot and WDs will tell you that the 14x22 design will carry 1200 lbs. The 15x22 will do a tiny bit more. If you are putting anywhere near 1500 lbs on a set of tubes you'll need a bigger boat. I don't do a lot of multi days and I really like the 14x22 design. It can carry a passenger, handle big water, and it can get me down a week-long river. My friend does a lot of multi days but a jag is too big for his needs and he really likes his 14' lion. IMO the biggest play cat that can kind of do it all is the 14' lion. The best week-long cat IMO is the jag.

The AIRE design team settled on 22'' tubes for big water performance. The 15 footer might still be around for that little bit of extra capacity for gear or a passenger, but the main guy who designed the tubes needed a big boat for rivers up north. He had a 14x22 sotar for the alsec and susitna and needed a bigger boat for the stikine. It runs bigger water a little bit better, but when on the stikine he said that he ended up wanting the 14 footer because the 15' was too heavy and slow during reflip. He was caught in a terminal eddy and could not right the boat and had to abandon the trip. After that he said the 14x22 WD is his favorite boat period. I really like the ocelot because it is a very similar design. It is small enough to play and big enough to not get eaten by every hole or flip unpredictably or too fast. A lot of people like 21'' tubes and they are faster, slice better and are lighter, but 22s will handle demanding water and loads better. As you begin to increase the size past 22'' you will lose performance. I believe this is why the 22.5'' sotars are so popular. Past this diameter the boat will start to handle more like a raft. It will be slower, heavier, harder to break out of the current, etc.

So, it kind of goes back to what another poster asked you; what are you going to do with it? My recommendations are:

surfing and playing: Ocelot
class V: 14' WD
week long trips: Jag
somewhere in the middle...14' Lion
 

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Wave Destroyer

Hi ob1coby,

I thought I would chime in on the Wave Destroy design question, hope you don’t mind. :)

When we built the Wave Destroyer series we were really aiming for optimal, class IV/V performance because we already had the Ocelot, Jag and Leopard to be the all-around cats and the Lion 14, 16 and 18 to be the work cats. We tested each size individually and really put all the designs through the ringer with old time cat boaters and well as newbies. (newbies not on class V, obviously). We did not pick a style we liked and then simply scaled up or down to finish out the rest of the series. Each size got their own round of pretty extensive prototyping and testing.

We had a few different sized prototypes for the largest Wave Destroyer. Simply put, we liked the 15’ X 22” better than the scaled up 15’ and the 16’ we prototyped. The 15’ x 22” felt “lighter” on the water and hit that performance niche we were after. All the other larger sizes felt too much like the Jaguarundi. We admit, 15’ x 22” is not a classic cataraft spec, but we love it! It has been a great size for bigger water multi-day trips, such as Spring time Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Hells Canyon section of the Snake.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Sheena Coles
AIRE Marketing
 

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So, it kind of goes back to what another poster asked you; what are you going to do with it? My recommendations are:

surfing and playing: Ocelot
class V: 14' WD
week long trips: Jag
somewhere in the middle...14' Lion
I don't agree with the week long trip recommendation. I use my 12.5' Sotar Legend on week long trips, and know a lot of people that use their 14' WD too. Granted these are not pig-loaded raft trips, but there is plenty of steak and drinks for all.

If you want to go Aire, I would say:

Surfing and playing and week long trips and Class V: 14' WD
Passenger or heavily loaded week long trips, or 1 person Grand Canyon: Jag
Somewhere in the middle: Ocelot
Grand Canyon massive gear boat: Lion
I'm not sure where the Leopard fits in, I've never seen one or known anyone to boat one so sorry if I miss it in the lineup.

But I am not an Aire boater, this is based on what I see many friends running.
 

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I own a 15' WD and it rocks...total sports car. No problem carrying what you want on long trips. If you shoot me your email, I can send you some pics.
 

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I don't agree with the week long trip recommendation. I use my 12.5' Sotar Legend on week long trips, and know a lot of people that use their 14' WD too. Granted these are not pig-loaded raft trips, but there is plenty of steak and drinks for all.

If you want to go Aire, I would say:

Surfing and playing and week long trips and Class V: 14' WD
Passenger or heavily loaded week long trips, or 1 person Grand Canyon: Jag
Somewhere in the middle: Ocelot
Grand Canyon massive gear boat: Lion
I'm not sure where the Leopard fits in, I've never seen one or known anyone to boat one so sorry if I miss it in the lineup. We mainly do multiday trips.

But I am not an Aire boater, this is based on what I see many friends running.
We have a Leopard. I think we've used it about 4 times in 6 years. It's a GC boat or a Main boat if you're carrying an extra passenger and a lot of group gear. We have a Sotar 16' x 24-25'' cat and it's pretty good, but I'd really like to have a Sotar 16' with 28'' tubes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow! Thank you all very much for your help. Sheena from Aire especially for taking time to chime in even though you folks are very busy this time of year.

That was exactly the info I needed. I did not realize that going larger in diameter can weigh it down and actually take away from the intended focus. I understand the sport a little better now.

P.S. do you want to sell those 16' WD prototypes?:D
 
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